Rus Articles Journal

How on streets of Russia lamps or What Odesskaya Street in St. Petersburg is well-known for were lit?

“- Sorry, you will not prompt where to me to leave to get on Odesskaya Street? I was told that somewhere about Smolny.

- And to you what, it is necessary to the Government house? there is no

- I want to look at the Museum of lamps.

- And unless we have such?“


Conversation of the passenger with the conductor in the trolleybus.

Ya was a witness to such dialogue, and I wanted to visit Odesskaya Street too . Once, in student`s years, we lived in the hostel near Smolny, but about Odesskaya Street knew nothing, it too small and silent, went by it more than once, and the museum any then there was not. And recently, when the heat already abandoned us and weather became just wonderful for walks, I went to look what “The museum of lamps“ is. by

in our city light Every evening thousands of lamps. We so got used to this benefit that we begin to be indignant strongly if suddenly any street suddenly appears in darkness. But not always residents of our city went across the lit St. Petersburg? How long on its streets there was a lighting? What were city lamps and how they changed over time?

St. Petersburg was the first city in Russia where streetlights appeared. it on December 4 (on new style) 1706, in day of celebration of a victory over Swedes, according to Peter I`s instructions Occurred. Then on facades of four houses at the Peter and Paul Fortress several streetlights were hung out. Lighting of the street in dark winter time very much was pleasant to both the tsar and citizens. After that began to light lamps on the occasion of different festivals.

B 1718, on the project of the architect Jean Baptiste Le Blond was made four oil street lamps which established before the Winter Palace of Peter I, on Neva Embankment. It can be considered as the beginning of regular lighting of city streets. In 1720 Petr ordered St. Petersburg the general - to the chief of police Anton Diviyer to enter continuous street lighting in the capital. And in 1723 efforts the general - the chief of police on the main city streets began to shine 595 lamps .

The first lamps were oil. The most primitive oil lamp was very similar to ship: a tetrahedral wooden box with the opening one side where either the fragment of glass, or a mica piece was inserted. Inside the oil lamp in the form of the tank reminding a sauce-boat with the extended nose was located - the match which was becoming impregnated with hempy oil plunged into it cotton. There was also a position of the lamplighter who lit in the evenings, and in the mornings extinguished lamps.

The soldiers billeted in the capital and police officers were the first St. Petersburg lamplighters. They had the form and a metal plate. Each lamplighter served 9 - 10 lamps. Lamps became so popular with inhabitants that in 1725 the special decree on installation on Bolshaya Pershpektivnaya Road (present Nevsky Avenue) about each lamp of benches for rest of passersby was issued. After Pyotr`s death his innovation for some time was forgotten, but at Catherine the Great lamplighters appeared again. Lighting of the capital was profitable business, and merchants began to be engaged in it willingly. They got an award from the authorities for each burning lamp and therefore lamps in the city became more and more. It is clear that on the lit streets it was more pleasant and safer to go.

At the beginning of the 19th century, a little earlier, than in Europe, in St. Petersburg gas lamps appeared. They lit the yards of the General staff. In 1835 gas lamps appeared before a monument to Catherine II, around the Alexandria column and at Bronze Horseman. Such a little late lighting appeared on Nevsky Avenue and other main streets. Gas lighting came to Moscow much later, in the fifties the 19th centuries.

Gas lighting of the capital was expensive (gas was received from coal) therefore on suburbs long still there were oil lamps. For them instead of oil it was already used alcohol - turpentine mix, then began to apply kerosene. Lamps were gradually improved, the so-called cap of Auer was invented - it was made of the metal gauze, was heated from heating and gave additional light - such lamps received the name of kerosene - kadilny. They were cheaper and more effective than gas. Of course, lighting was not faultless. Lamps dimly shone, sometimes did not burn at all, and sometimes them, for the sake of economy, lit later, and extinguished ahead of time.

At the end of the 19th century the era of electric lamps came. Here - that also Odesskaya Street of St. Petersburg became famous for ! In 1873 on it, for the first time in the world, the electric lamp created by the inventor Alexander Lodygin was lit . The eyewitness with

amazement remembered: “Suddenly from darkness we got on the street with bright lighting. In two lamps oil lamps were replaced with the glow lamps which were pouring out bright this world. The audience with delight and surprise admired this light without fire“.

In 1886 - 1887 developments of the device of electric lighting in the Winter Palace, and then and in Tsarskoye Selo were conducted. Tsarskoye Selo became the first, let and the small city which is completely equipped with electricity. There the small power plant was constructed, and arc lamps with coal sticks (cores) were lit on all its streets. In all St. Petersburg electric lighting appeared after revolution of 1917. But in some places, especially on suburbs, oil lamps existed before 30 - x years of the 20th century.

And on quiet Odesskaya Street, near the house where there was masterful Aleksandra Lodygina and where lit the first electric lamp of St. Petersburg , in May, 1998 the monument to the St. Petersburg lamplighter of sculptors B. M. Sergeyev and O. N. Pankratova was put, and the small museum of lamps under the open sky opened . Here, on the building where there was the inventor`s workshop, memorial boards are established. Creators of an exposition thought that museum lamps will give light to neighboring inhabitants in the evenings, but this idea is not carried out still. Here it is a little lamps and tourists here infrequently look.

The St. Petersburg lamps were considered as one of the most beautiful in the world. The famous architects, such as Montferrand, Felten, Rastrelli participated in their design. Very beautiful lamps can be seen near monuments and palaces. Unfortunately, in this century beauty is often sacrificed to conveniences, utility, became a variety and beauty in lamps a little. Besides often lamps as however and walls of buildings, suffer from vandalism of irresponsible citizens.

In end I want to tell - you will walk on streets of St. Petersburg, pay attention to lamps, and visit Odesskaya Street: it goes from Suvorovsky Avenue and is near the Area of proletarian dictatorship.